The 411 on Boutique Motels

03.16.22 | Business Planning

Over the past few years, shows like Motel Makeover and Schitt’s Creek have been shining a spotlight on the unique charm and character of rural roadside motels. In the atmosphere of this success, a new movement among entrepreneurs is slowly gaining in popularity. 

Across North America, investors and dreamers alike are purchasing motels and transforming them into modernized boutique destinations. These quirky, small-scale accommodations have proven to be a hit with travellers of all ages. 

As short-stay trips and weekend getaways become increasingly popular in Canada, the number of boutique motels will likely continue growing too. 

In this blog post. we’ve got all the info you need to know about this budding movement and some basic tips for entrepreneurs interested in building their dream motel. 

What Exactly is a Boutique Motel?

If recent trends in holiday accommodations have shown anything, it’s that travellers are looking for something different. Whether it’s Airbnb, pod hotels, tiny home retreats, vacationers are exploring new options that aren’t a run-of-the-mill hotel. Enter the boutique motel, a reimagined and refreshed take on the traditional motel model. 

In a nutshell, boutique motels bring the trendy modern styles of the city to quiet roadside destinations. As motels typically house fewer travellers than a hotel, they make for a less-crowded, more laid-back experience without sacrificing the Instagram-friendly aesthetics. 

How Can You Turn a Passion Project into a Successful Business?

With an abundance of old motels scattered across the province, Ontario is ripe with opportunities. If you have a passion for improvement projects and a DIY spirit, turning an old roadside motel into the perfect holiday destination could be the next chapter in your life and career. 

Building a Business

Like any business, finding financial success with a boutique motel involves long-term planning and strategy. This means having a vision for your motel far beyond the renovations. 

After you’ve chosen the perfect shade of paint and matching lampshades, you’ll need to focus on the ins and outs of running a small business. Managing finances, inventory and staff members are just some of the everyday processes of running a motel. 

Looking for small business money-management tips? Check out 5 Ways For A Small Business to Save Money here.

Location Matters. 

Regardless of where your future guests may live, the location of your motel will be a critical part of your business plan. Beyond your front desk, nearby activities and amenities are key factors in the long-term success of your business. 

It’s no wonder Ontario’s Prince Edward County has already become a hotspot for boutique motels. Local wineries, hiking trails and a heap of beachside activities encourage guests to keep coming back year after year. 

An expert real estate agent can also advise you of any local factors you may need to consider such as seasonal amenity closures, future construction projects nearby or shifting economic trends. 

Purchasing commercial property is a longer, more complex process than purchasing a home. A commercial real estate agent can provide you with a specialized skill set to help you navigate the process. 


Check out some of our other great resources to learn more about commercial real estate.


Ease of Access

Ensuring travellers have easy access to you is also important. Your future guests will rely on Ontario’s highway network to connect them to their getaway. As a result, if you open a motel too far off the beaten path, you may lose out on guests who are looking for a shorter travel time. So when you’re ready to begin the search for a diamond in the rough, consulting a roadmap is a great first step. 

Ready to explore commercial real estate? Reach out to learn how we can help simplify the process. 

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